Sharing is a skill that does not come naturally, despite our parents’ greatest efforts to ingrain it into our psyches from an early age. Either you’re born with the compassionate gift of easily parting ways with your possessions or you’re not. You can learn it and adopt it and you can even pretend to like it, but you can never 100% shake off that ignoble urge to run amok with a label gun and yell “Mine! Mine! MINE!” at everything in sight.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you nodded to yourself at least once while reading the statements above and if you let slip a knowing smirk while reflecting on your own secret misconducts, then chances are you’re every bit as possessive and territorial as I am. As a very uncool, uncalm and uncollected teenager, I was highly prone to huffiness and impassioned eye-rolls at anyone who dared cross the threshold of my personal space and belongings. My friends tell me I’m better now, but to be honest, I’ve just gotten better at hiding it, like every other adult who had difficulties sharing as a child.

It’s not so much about being stingy, but more to do with the idea of not being able to enjoy something that belongs to me to its full potential whenever I want to because it’s currently being utilized by someone else other than me. People with possessive or territorial tendencies often have an “all or nothing” mindset because if I can’t have my own, then why even bother? If you empathize with me so far, here are a few other situations that you’re also probably familiar with:

  1. Losing Interest the Moment You Lose Sole Ownership Of Anything / “If It’s Not Mine Then I Don’t Want It”

In high school, whenever a classmate left their textbook at home, you’d cringe inwardly and curl up into a ball in the corner hoping and praying feverishly that you wouldn’t be called out to awkwardly share your half of a textbook. (Remind me again how sharing one textbook across two tables is a conducive way to study?) And if you were called upon to share your book, the joy of learning completely escaped you and you’d zone out for the rest of the class.

2. I’m Not Stingy, Just Antsy

People always think you’re stingy but the fact of the matter is, you’d rather buy someone their own plate of onion rings than have them constantly reach over and pick one off your plate.

3. “Separation Anxiety”

Whenever you’re at the movies and forced to share a tub of popcorn with someone else, you’re always the first to suggest that the popcorn be separated into different containers. Dipping in and out of the same container throughout the entire movie with a high potential of awkwardly bumping sticky hands? Why would anyone submit themselves to that kind of torture?!

4. Food Is Completely Off The Table

You will never not like, share, reblog or retweet that Friends gif, no matter how old and worn out that joke is. Who else is a loyal member of team “JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!”?

5. “I Know A Special Place For People Like You…”

People who can nonchalantly reach over to grab something off someone else’s plate or take something without asking explicit permission are a different species altogether in your book. The kind of species that you‘d like to capture and store in glass vats under intense observation and study for an indefinite amount of time.

5. “Keep Calm and Don’t Blow A Fuse” is your mantra as well as “Keep Calm and Don’t Look Like A Crazy Person”

Learning to keep one’s cool when one’s personal space is invaded is a skill to be mastered in itself. What, to others, may seem like an innocent elbow jutting over the table and past the visible barrier separating your space and theirs, is actually setting off fire alarms and warning bells in our minds. But you’d never guess from how calm and unbothered we seem on the outside.

6. Saying A Silent Goodbye To Your Things When Lending It To Someone

One of the main causes of possessiveness is the fear of losing control as well as the presence of trust issues. On the occasions where we have to lend someone something, just know that in our minds, we’ve already written that thing off as a loss. It’s a bonus if you return it but we’ve already mentally prepared ourselves for when you don’t and we’re already thinking of the soonest time we can replace it.

However, the good thing is that you’ll find that despite our anal retentiveness, we’re also highly considerate people in return. Being all too familiar with the significance that one’s personal belongings hold, we’re careful with other people’s things which means you’ll never catch us stepping out of line.

But, for the love of all that is good, just don’t leave my stationery lying on your table when you’re done with it!